Cats live for approximately 15 years, so adopting a kitten is a long commitment. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to find the right kitten with whom you will share so many years together. While every cat is unique, from their individual habits to the cat food that is right for their diet, you can make things a little easier by finding a kitten with the breed tendencies and personality that best suit you.  

How do I choose a kitten?

When choosing your new kitten, you should consider the following questions:

  • Is your home safe for a kitten?
  • Are your personalities compatible?
  • Which gender is best for you and your home?
  • Is the kitten healthy?
  • How many kittens should you adopt?

Consider your living arrangements

Before you even begin to look for a kitten, consider your home. If you live in a flat or space where your cat won’t be able to get in and out easily, you should restrict yourself to a breed suited to staying indoors. Forcing an outdoor cat to live indoors will make them unhappy.  

Do a personality check

The best way to understand how your new companion might behave is to spend some time with them first. Visit him or her in the shelter or at the breeders, interact and play with them, and see how well they handle. If they are comfortable with you when you get down on their level, they have likely already learned to socialise and share their space. If they are playful and confident, they will probably get on well with other people and young children.  

Should I get a male or a female cat?

Polls of cat owners have found that male cats are generally considered to be more affectionate and docile, while females can be more possessive. Meanwhile, male cats tend to spray their scent more than females. Ultimately, any differences between the sexes are relatively minimal and experts agree that breed is the better determining factor when it comes to cats’ personalities.  

Health check

Health issues in pets can be costly, both of your time and money, so it is important to make an informed decision before making your commitment. Reputable kennels and breeders will supply you with a medical history, including any known health issues with the kitten, any breed-specific concerns, and if they have had any vaccinations or medication already. However, you should still follow this up with a visit to the vet, just in case anything has been missed.  

What breed of cat is best for me?

Keeping in mind the above checklist, and that every kitten has their own unique personality, you can narrow down your search by looking for breeds that are more likely to suit your home and lifestyle. Be aware, the breeds listed below are examples of cats that display the respective traits. There are many others in each category not listed. Instead of learning the needs and habits of every cat breed, start by visiting shelters and breeders to find kittens with whom you bond. Then, once you know their breed, find out more about how to care for those specific types to see if you are compatible together.  

What is the friendliest breed of cat?

While friendly cats tend to be a bit more dependent, meaning you shouldn’t leave them alone for so long, this is because they enjoy regular play and affection with you.

Affectionate types

  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Ragamuffin

Child-friendly

  • Bombay
  • Maine Coon
  • Siamese

Friendly with strangers

  • British Shorthair
  • Siberian
  • Sphynx

Playful

  • Abyssinian
  • LaPerm
  • Turkish Van

What is the best cat for a first-time owner?

These breeds are affectionate, yet independent and low maintenance, giving you the benefits of a friendly and loyal cat along with the patience while you learn the ropes.

  • Scottish Fold
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Maine Coon

Which breed of cat sheds the most?

If you desperately want to avoid finding hairs all over your clothes and furniture, then you’re better off avoiding a cat that sheds often, such as:

  • Burmilla
  • Ocicat
  • Korat

Conversely, if you are happy to spend time grooming your kitten, the following will love nothing more than melting into your lap for a brush through their fur and tail.

  • Chartreux
  • Cymric
  • Ragdoll

Which cat is the smartest?

All kittens require an element of mental stimulation. However, highly intelligent cats will require this stimulation to a greater degree, which you should provide in the form of toys, puzzles, and new things to explore.

  • Manx
  • Javanese
  • Singapura

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